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How to beat the bugs this summer at Antelope Island

Posted at 7:54 AM, May 25, 2023

DAVIS COUNTY, Utah — Visiting Utah's State Parks is on many summer bucket lists but if you head to Antelope Island, you'll need to be prepared to battle with the bugs.

As the waters in the Great Salt Lake rise, attendance as this popular state park also increases.

"It's definitely looking more like a lake now there is a lot more water in farmington bay which is over here," explained Wendy Wilson with the Utah Department of Natural Resources. "I mean it's definitely nice to see water again out on the lake."

Besides bringing plenty of water and applying sunscreen before you head outdoors, Antelope Island has an additional challenge visitors have to handle and we got the scoop on how to beat the bugs.

The island is home to dragonflies, midges and the notorious biting gnats, also called noseeums.

"They are jerks they're just see I'm just itchy because they're biting me they don't respond to insect repellent," Wilson said. "Anything we've tried..even those that say this is for...biting gnats, it doesn't work."

Bug spray doesn't even work on these bugs that can leave you with an itching red welt.

So what can visitors to for some relief against these annoying pests?

Wilson said visitors should plan on wearing long sleeve shirts, pants and even a head net to keep the bugs away. You may be sweating, but you'll be protected from the bugs!

Visitors can also plan their trip for windy days or when temperatures drop when the bugs tend to leave people alone.

"They come out when the temps are about 55 to 60 degrees and they stay out until about 90," Wilson explained. "So once it gets really hot during the summer usually end of June early July the noseeums will be gone."

Though the biting bugs will be gone, other bugs will be out and about.

"You are just kind of dealing with other things like deer flies that you can put bug spray on," Wilson warned. "Non-biting midges that are on the causeway or the brine flies along the beach those come out in huge numbers as well but they don't bite."

If you don't want to be annoyed by any bugs, you can even enjoy the sights of Antelope Island from the comfort of your car...you'll just want to get a car wash after!

A day pass to Antelope Island is $15 per vehicle or $5 for motorcycles and camping is between $20 and $40 a night.